Thursday, May 28, 2009

Contentment Is A Skill

The apostle Paul had it right when he wrote in Philippians 4:11b, "...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

More and more lately, I have been noticing, even in my own life, how discontented we all seem to have grown. Gone are the days of settling for what we can afford, these are the days of credit cards, and buy now/pay later. Get rich quick schemes are all around us, filling our heads with more ways to get more money for doing less. Gone are the days when having a two pairs of shoes-one for church and one for work- was good enough. Or when having a few outfits would last forever it seems. Nowadays we all have to have name brand shoes and clothing. Now name brands are a sign of status. Now, if you don't have the latest gadgets, you are a social outcast. Whatever happened to "And having food and raiment let us therewith be content."

Contentment doesn't come naturally, it has to be LEARNED, just like any other skill. Just like playing an instrument takes time, so does learning contentment. Let me give you an example.

When I started teaching myself to play the guitar, it was long and painful. My fingertips were cracked, sometimes bled, and often were too sore to play piano. But I kept at it. Pretty soon I knew a few chords. Calluses formed on my fingers. I learned how to coordinate those few chords with a few songs. My fingertips were no longer hurting, they were accustomed to the neck of the guitar. But I've found that if I go for days without playing guitar, my fingers will hurt a bit when I play.

Just like learning to play a guitar, learning contentment, I'm finding, is also a long, sometimes painful process. When you start off, your mind and body are weak. You are used to having everything you want. Then comes the time when you realize that God's ways are always the best. So, you suck it up, go on with your life, trusting God to lead you. Pretty soon, you are content in a few things, such as: being the odd duck, money being a little tight because of missions and tithe. But then, things come along that you are not content in. Suddenly, you find yourself a little bit sore, chafing at the spots where discontentment is rubbing you wrong.

I must be truly candid with you, this is a lesson I am having a difficult time learning.

I am having a hard time with contentment in the aspect of relationships, a boyfriend, whatever you want to call it. I have never had a "boyfriend", never been in a relationship that went beyond friends. And while I am not lamenting that fact, something inside me longs to be with the person God's chosen for me. I don't know yet who that is or will be, and I am quite willing to wait. But, my flesh is so weak, and I see others around me, so happy in their relationships, and every time I see them I am discontent.

Then the flesh and the spirit begin to war, one with another. There IS a man that God has chosen for me, I know this for a fact. Therefore, I will not "go out with" any Tom, Dick, or Harry, just for the sake of having a "someone".

I MUST learn to be content! Hebrews 13:5b says, "and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

CHRIST IS ALL I if I can just get that through my thick head......

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Oh wow...did you know that I've been mulling over the same thing lately? Contentment. That's one area in which I have had great struggle lately. But the Lord has been helping me in so many ways...I just praise Him for that.

I really appreciate your posts, Bethany. Can't wait to see ya'll sometime this year!